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that he has in john kerry and susan rice. and i do think he's got a little bit of a dilemma, but i know there are those close to the president that are telling him, enough of this. both rice and kerry are sort of hanging in the wind, particularly rice. fish or cut bait and do it soon. i've got to think we're going to see it in the next 48 to 72 hours. >> chuck, we are talking about the fiscal cliff here and basically, i mean, i know next to nothing about the fiscal cliff or the negotiations that are going on. is your sense that there's more going on behind the scenes than what we talk about or what's in the papers? >> you know, i love -- no. there's not. i mean -- >> you mean we're right? >> no, it's one of those -- it's amazing. i think we all assume oh, there's got to be real stuff going on. this is just -- and maybe this is an elaborate ploy, right, that the president and boehner said okay, we're going to do all this and then magically we'll bring it all together as everybody feels everything's going to heck in a handbasket. but no, there's not a lot going on sort of behind the scene
question if he were to name john kerry, for example, the senator from massachusetts as his secretary of state, he would be confirmed presumably, would that open the door for a republican to be the next senator though from massachusetts? i'm speaking about the current senator, the outgoing senator scott brown who's still pretty popular there. >> he is popular. that's a great point. i know he was just defeated, but he is a formidable political talent. i honestly have no idea if that's playing a role in these deliberations. clearly john kerry is qualified to be the secretary of state as well. my best guess is it's exactly what ari was saying which is the president is asking who is most in sync with my foreign policy? ambassador rice is someone who helped form late the obama foreign policy. i think senator kerry would too. democrats are now in a position where we have an embarrassment of riches. i really hope they don't start worrying about this or that political matter. in democrats can't win elections in massachusetts, there's something fundamentally wrong with what we're doing. >> he
senator john kerry as his replacement for secretary of state hillary clinton. at this point, aides say to me that the president knows he can't let this linger much longer, can't leave rice or kerry hanging in the wind. expect an announcement perhaps by early next weeks. >> chuck todd at the white house, thank you very much. >>> we want to turn and get a check of the day's other top stories. natalie morales over at the news desk. good morning. >> good morning, everyone. >>> ex-cia chief general david petraeus spoke out about his affair with biographer paula broadwell in a letter to his colleague james shelton nbc news has learned this morning. in the november 20th note, petraeus says, quote, i screwed up royally and tells shelton, quote, i paid the price appropriately and i sought to do the right thing at the end of the day. petraeus also praises his wife for standing by him. the affair brought about petraeus' resignation earlier this month. >>> renewed fears this morning that egypt could be on the verge of a second popular revolution as mohamed morsi addresses the nation today calling
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